BNAA President Misses Opening Ceremonies

August 6, 2016

[Written by Don Burgess]

A series of flight “nightmare” cancellations and delays caused Donna Raynor to miss last night’s opening ceremonies of the Rio Olympics.

The Bermuda National Athletic Association president was also carrying with her the uniforms for sprinter Tre Houston and long jumper Tyrone Smith.

And even though she wanted to be there on time, what she really felt bad about was impacting the two athletes’ experience.

Raynor’s original American Airlines flight out of Bermuda on Thursday was delayed by 2 ½ hours.

She told Bernews: “I reached Miami and had about 10 hours as my flight was due to leave just after 10. Just after midnight they advised that a crew member did not show up so they cancelled the flight and it would not be leaving until 10am.

“I then went to the desk to try to reroute as I told them I was trying to get to the opening ceremony.

“I also knew I had Tre and Tyrone’s uniforms for the ceremony. I felt bad for both as this was Tre’s first Olympic ceremony and the first time for Tyrone to carry the flag.”

The flight she was on went to Brasilia but there were no hotel rooms so Raynor and the other passengers were given blankets, pillows and a bottle of water as they slept in the airport.

Raynor added: “The airport was a mess with people trying to rebook. The rebooked me to leave Brasilia at 8.40pm the next night [Friday, August 5] getting in Rio 10:30pm.”

She advised the Bermuda Olympic Association about the uniform dilemma who then had to scramble to put together outfits for the two track stars for the opening ceremony.

“I must admit I did not sleep much in the airport as I was really hoping something would work out but nothing. It only got worse as our flight was delayed to 10:45 the next day.”

Poor Raynor couldn’t catch a break.

“I still had enough time to catch my connecting flight, but no such luck as the flight did not leave until after 12 therefore we did not arrive until 8:30 — too late for my connection.”

The only bright spot in the ordeal was she at least spent Friday night in a hotel rather than on an airport floor. She is due to leave Brasilia for Rio at 3:45 today [Saturday].

Raynor added: “Speaking to someone at AA it appears that mechanical problems and crews not showing up is becoming the norm. There were a bunch of stranded persons trying to get to their destinations. What a nightmare and it is not over yet I am still not in Rio yet.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Donna is very committed to her athletes. What happened to her , could happen to any human being.
    She got there in time, that is what counts the most.

  2. lillywhite says:

    Guess 4 years to prepare is not enough time -esp. for the uniforms.